By D. Markie Spring
Turks and Caicos Islands
I cannot relax until our education system changes direction!
Before I am accused of being on a fault finding mission, let me stop for a moment and acknowledge the good parts of our daunting education system, which is designed to fail. First, under this government, more Vincentians have pursued higher education than before. Nowadays, students are studying in significant numbers in Cuba, Venezuela and Mexico. Second, more scholarship funds are now available to students who want to pursue higher education and, last, at home more institutions have been built or renovated to accommodate students at the primary and secondary levels, and school leavers.
The author of a number of published works, D. Markie Spring was born in St Vincent and the Grenadines and now resides in Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos Islands. He has an MBA from the University of Leicester, England, and a BA from Saint Mary's University, Canada
However, the policies and procedures, rules and regulations of our retard education system is failing our students: there are no libraries in the suburban and rural areas, a medical college that has to be rescued, the technical colleges that seem to have no relevance anymore and the lack of direction and planning, and technical support governing our learning institutions and the mere fact that teachers, parents, taxpayers and of course the students are not involved in the planning process.
Notably, these factors are horrendous, but they are nothing in comparison to the political ad hominem that is currently blocking progress in our dejected education system.
With this comes to mind Elvis Daniel – this is a man who have been serving our communities in the teaching arena for 32 long years. As a matter of fact, Mr Daniel is the reason for our successes as students from as far as Biabou in the south to Fancy in the north; his record is exemplary and it is evident to everyone, even those who does not know him as their teacher. This man served almost the entire Charlotte Parish; spearheading students’ success at the primary and secondary school levels and those who pursued evening classes at Langley Park Government School and now upstairs Kenmars building in Kingstown!
Additionally, to better serve students, Mr Daniel pursued an M/ Phil in mathematics after his Bachelors at the University of West Indies. Evidently, he is in possession of two degrees in mathematics, which is a luxury in SVG – a subject area that is not typical amongst Vincentians and, for that matter, the wider Caribbean.
With all these qualifications, this prominent figure is barred from teaching mathematics, because he contested the 2010 general election against the ruling government. All this is happening while our students are failing. The country just released its CSEC results and could only obtain 18.5 percent (correct me if I am wrong) passes in mathematics at the national level, while Mr Elvis Daniel is demonstrating greater competence and success privately tutoring students.
How can the government of SVG stand before the people and released such hideous results? How can the government hold hostage the successes and futures of Vincentian boys and girls while the government is satisfying its apathetic beguile? Why are we accepting an ‘education revolution’ when our student cannot even analyze and solve a mathematical problem? How can Vincentians accept this erroneous, erratic petty behaviour?
Is this a government for all Vincentians or the chosen few? Does this idiotism remind you about Mitt Romney’s, the GOP’s presidential candidate’s political euphemism about 47 percent of Americans he does not care about? Why can’t we adapt the Obama legacy of fighting for the entire nation regardless of party or political affiliations! Look in President Obama’s cabinet and see how he employed Republicans to assist his administration; compare this to the political pettiness existing in SVG – creating imaginary political borders and divisions.
The last time I checked, Mr Daniel was not an alien dropped from the sky or invaded SVG from another country or planet. The man is a Vincentians who sought higher office like everyone else, including those who are in charge right now?
I often ask myself, is ‘the man’ a father, husband, breadwinner and God fearing as Mr Daniel who is obligated to his family? Looking deep into ourselves, there is no etiquette, clarity or godliness in those who are spearheading our education system. Sadly, everyone is so silent on this matter – it is almost a non-issue.
Intuitively, if our government did not know, there are many political points to be scored by reinstating Elvis Daniel in the education system; this should be a national and bipartisan decision that could put back our education system on the right track. Mr Daniel has the determination, credentials and capability to do so, not withholding his immaculate records.
I beg, reinstate Elvis Daniel, because our country needs him!